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Heacham are preparing for their first season in the Thurlow Nunn League

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Joint manager Sean McQuaid is hoping Heacham can mark a memorable milestone in the club’s history with a performance to remember on Saturday.

McQuaid’s men make their first-ever appearance as a step six side when they host Framlington Town on Saturday in their first match in Division One North of the Thurlow Nunn League.

It has been a remarkable rise for the Magpies who have won seven successive promotions which was capped last season when they won the Anglian Combination Premier Division title.

Heacham's management team of Ross McNeil and Sean McQuaid (58443782)
Heacham's management team of Ross McNeil and Sean McQuaid (58443782)

And McQuaid is relishing the challenges ahead which begin on Saturday against a Framlingham side who finished in the play-off places last season.

He said: “We are really looking forward to getting started this season and testing ourselves in the Thurlow Nunn League.

“We are under no illusions that it’s a big step up but feel we have the pieces in place both on and off the pitch to be competitive.

“We have had a good pre-season with some challenging fixtures which started with a huge game for the club against a step two side in Peterborough Sports.

“The boys have been putting the work in and will be up to speed in time for the Framlingham game.

“We have made some important signings over the summer and the back end of last season.

“We are specific with the players we bring in because the group dynamic and culture at the club is so strong and bringing too many new faces in can disrupt this.

“The lads coming in for this season give us experience at the Thurlow Nunn League and higher and I have been really impressed with their attitude and application to settle in so quickly. Everyone at the club is pulling in the right direction and the opening game at step six will be a landmark day for Heacham.

“We hope we can give the fans a performance to remember at home before going on to see what the seasons holds for us.

“I am sure there will be ups and downs but it’s an exciting journey.”

There’s also a new era for Swaffham Town who start their Division One North season at home to Leiston Reserves on Saturday.

The Pedlars are under the new management of Johnny Alflatt for the coming campaign and have retained a number of players from last season.

Alflatt said: “After the difficulties of last season, I am over the moon to keep such a core squad of players together.

“It is key that everyone is on board with our plans. The commitment and dedication these lads have shown to both me and the club is exactly the attitude we are looking for.

“I’m looking forward to what the new season brings.”

Downham Town make the trip to Cornard United for their Division One opener while Fakenham hit the FA Cup trail on Saturday.

The Ghosts travel to Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division rivals Kirkley and Pakefield looking to build on their midweek win over Ely City.

Having lost their opening match last weekend at home to Long Melford, Fakenham were 3-1 winners against the Robins on Tuesday night with Ashley Jarvis, Jack Robinson and Jake Watts on target.

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